Suspect in ex-NFLer's murder to plead not guilty

Posted at 10:32 AM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 11:40:54-04

The attorney for the man accused of fatally shooting former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith says his client will plead not guilty. 

Police say the shooting took place Saturday night after Smith was rear-ended by a man driving an orange Hummer. The man, identified as Cardell Hayes, allegedly opened fire, killing Smith and injuring Smith's wife, according to police.

Police called the incident the result of road rage and haven't wavered on that, despite details that could suggest ulterior motives. 

"I think this is just wrong place, wrong time. No way you can explain what happened," Ceravolo told WWL-TV

Smith was shot and killed shortly after reportedly having dinner with retired New Orleans Police Department Capt. William Ceravolo. 

Hayes filed a lawsuit against Ceravolo and others in the department after they shot and killed his father in 2005. The suit was settled in 2011. 

Hayes' attorney, John Fuller, is now demanding toxicology reports, saying it appeared "there were parties that were intoxicated or under the influence of some type of mind-altering substance." 

"My client secured a witness who was about to leave the scene, and my client waited for law enforcement to arrive. Now, tell me if that's the behavior that's consistent with someone who's an animal out here looking for blood," attorney John Fuller said

Hayes, a defensive line prospect out of high school in 2005, is being charged with second-degree murder. He's being held on $1 million bond. 

This video includes a clip from NBC and images from Getty Images.